Estate Planning for Your Children’s Future
You are your children’s best advocate. You know exactly how they like their sandwiches cut, what story they could listen to a thousand times a day, who their friends are, and how school is going. You are involved with your kids and only want the best for them. You are a responsible parent, so you plan educational trips and outings, manage the family finances, and carefully choose your babysitters and other childcare providers. But have you taken the time to put a plan in place in case something happens and you can no longer take care of yourself or your children?
An Unpleasant Possibility
Who wants to consider the possibility of injury or incapacity leaving them unable to provide for loved ones, especially children? Unfortunately, accidents can happen. And when there are no directives in place, the children are often lost in the shuffle. Whatever your wishes are for their care, there’s nothing to make sure those wishes are followed.
Three Critical Considerations
When planning your estate, there are at least three critical decisions that must be made by anyone with children:
- Who will be responsible for the children in the event I am unable to be their caregiver? This can include any situation ranging from disability to incapacity to death. By naming a guardian or guardians and identifying the important values you want them to instill in your children, you can avoid family arguments over where the kids should go and who is best to care for them.
- Who gets what stuff, when should they get it, and how? This part of your estate defines both specific inheritances (so if you want your engagement ring to go to your daughter, that gift can be preplanned) and the designation of how assets in general should be distributed. It all gives instructions for when and how the property should be distributed and used. There is also an important step of defining what should happen in the event of changing circumstances, such as when the original beneficiary predeceases you. In other words, you need a back-up plan for your back-up plan.
- Who is in charge? In addition to making the day-to-day decisions about your children’s care, you will need to name someone who can look out for the financial well-being of your family in your absence. Deciding who that person should be while you are still able helps your wishes be honored.
Don’t leave the future up to chance. Meet with the experienced estate planning attorneys at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. by calling (402) 505-8234. We are here to advise and counsel you on how you can plan a future for your family.